Singer-Songwriter Lari White Turns to Kickstarter to Release New Album
Lari White was a regular on the country music charts in the 1990s thanks to hit songs such as "Now I Know," "That's How You Know (When You're in Love)" and "Stepping Stone." She was signed to RCA Nashville, then Lyric Street Records, and released two albums independently in the 2000s, but the mother of three and wife of hit songwriter Chuck Cannon has stayed largely out of the spotlight in recent years, focusing on other projects while home-schooling her children.
Now, however, White is working on a comeback: She's got a new double EP, Old Friends, New Loves, in the works and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project.
"I think I’m the last person on the planet to use the internet, but I’m re-engaging my fans through Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, doing the whole social media scene," White explains to The Boot. "Having looked at a lot of different platforms, Kickstarter is a great platform for reconnecting with people who are interested in supporting creative projects of all kinds ... and mak[ing] your project with your fans directly."
White's offering a number of incentives to those who pledge to her campaign: a free download of her song "Champagne," an autographed copy of her new record, vocal coaching from White herself, a live YouTube performance of a song of the fan's choosing and even a chance to stay at the first house White owned, complete with breakfast cooked by the singer-songwriter.
"It’s a scary process," White admits. "They contribute to the campaign and essentially fund the making of the record in return for copies of the new music and all kinds of fun rewards."
The idea for Old Friends, New Loves came as White realized that she was approaching the 25-year anniversary of her life as a recording artist.
"It snuck up on me, this whole 25 years. I never thought I’d be able to say 25 years about anything, really, much less be a recording artist for 25 years," White concedes. "I’ve been playing more shows, and people at my shows are asking when I’m going to have a new record, so it feels like time.
"I’ve spent a lot of the last several years producing other people’s projects, producing music on other artists, which I love to do, very, very much, but it doesn’t satisfy that artist itch for me as far as recording my own songs, writing my own songs, singing my own stuff," she adds. "I wanted to create a project that re-connected me with my old fans from my earliest days of being a recording artist, as well as putting out some of the new songs I’ve written in the last few years, which nobody has heard."
When White realized that she wanted to record a new album, she knew right away that she wanted to do it on her own terms.
"I’ve been on several different record labels with varying degrees of success," White explains. "So, I’m really grateful for my time on a major record label, but I’m not there anymore. I don’t want to be answering to an A&R department or a promotions staff about what songs I’m going to record or what songs my fans are going to hear."
"My ultimate goal is to reconnect with my fans," White shares. "I have a studio, so the cost of making the album -- that’s a real cost, but because I have a studio, it’s not like I’m having to rent a studio for a month to make this project. So the money end of it, it’s important, but it’s not really the most important to me. The most important to me was to use Kickstarter to reconnect with my fans directly -- not going through a record label, not going through a distributor, just seeing if I could find those people who bought Wishes -- upwards of a million people who bought [1994's] Wishes and my early country albums, and then, since then, the fans I’ve gained through my Broadway show and [acting in the movie] Cast Away."
White, now 51, is also dreaming up the next phase of her career, which she hopes will include a lot of overseas adventures.
"I I love to travel," White says. "I would love to go to England, Europe and especially Australia. I have a real fantasy about playing in Australia; I would love to get over there.
"I have had such a satisfying career; I’ve gotten to do so many amazing things as an artist," she continues. "Now that my kids are grown and I’m kind of back into doing my own thing again, I’m just looking forward to making great music."
White's Old Friends, New Loves Kickstarter campaign runs through July 13. More information is available on the project's Kickstarter page.
Test Your '90s Country Knowledge!